The Wall Street Journal columnist in the past has been very clear that civility is a must in our public discourse. The partisan Republican writer routinely condemned what she thought were out-of-bounds liberal attacks on the Bush administration; attacks, we were told, that crossed all kinds of lines and that came from the president's unhinged critics who were trying to stifle free speech.
But gee, during the Obama years, when her right-wing media colleagues have shredded all guidelines for decency in terms of their attack on the Oval Office, Noonan has remained (mostly) mum. Noonan plays dumb on an epic scale about the complete, and purposeful lack of respect that now drives the far-right media. Noonan's reluctant to call out the hate mongers on the right who now treat the POTUS as a punk and a dog.
Apparently for Noonan, when Democrats are in the Oval Office civility isn't so important. Rather, raw anger is to be celebrated as a true expression of democracy by "concerned" citizens. The hypocrisy is hard to miss. (In fact, last year Noonan lectured Democrats that they were the ones being "unhelpfully divisive and provocative.")
But luckily for Noonan, Limbaugh has provided the columnist with the perfect opportunity to be intellectual honest, because yesterday the AM talker unleashed a schoolyard taunt, calling Obama, among other things, a "jackass." Clearly Noonan won't stand for that kind of incivility, right?
Because remember that back in March, Noonan issued this warning:
[O]ne immediate thing can be done right now, and that is: lower the temperature. Any way you can, and everybody. Just lower it.
Does calling the President of the United States a "jackass" help lower the temperature? If not, will Noonan finally stand up and say so?
In her Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan falsely claimed that EPA administrator Lisa Jackson "went to a New York fund-raiser in the middle of the [Gulf oil spill] disaster." In fact, Jackson canceled her appearance at the fundraiser, which she had reportedly scheduled weeks before the oil spill.
From Noonan's March 18 Wall Street Journal column:
Now for the Slaughter
On the road to Demon Pass, our leader encounters a Baier.
Thursday's decision followed the most revealing and important broadcast interview of Barack Obama ever. It revealed his primary weakness in speaking of health care, which is a tendency to dodge, obfuscate and mislead. He grows testy when challenged. It revealed what the president doesn't want revealed, which is that he doesn't want to reveal much about his plan. This furtiveness is not helpful in a time of high public anxiety. At any rate, the interview was what such interviews rarely are, a public service. That it occurred at a high-stakes time, with so much on the line, only made it more electric.
I'm speaking of the interview Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report With Bret Baier." Fox is owned by News Corp., which also owns this newspaper, so one should probably take pains to demonstrate that one is attempting to speak with disinterest and impartiality, in pursuit of which let me note that Glenn Beck has long appeared to be insane.
That having been said, the Baier interview was something, and right from the beginning. Mr. Baier's first question was whether the president supports the so-called Slaughter rule, alternatively known as "deem and pass," which would avoid a straight up-or-down House vote on the Senate bill. (Tunku Varadarajan in the Daily Beast cleverly notes that it sounds like "demon pass," which it does. Maybe that's the juncture we're at.) Mr. Obama, in his response, made the usual case for ObamaCare. Mr. Baier pressed him. The president said, "The vote that's taken in the House will be a vote for health-care reform." We shouldn't, he added, concern ourselves with "the procedural issues."
Peggy Noonan falsely claimed that "Congress' own budget office is saying" that the health care reform bill "is gonna have a very bad effect on the American economy." In fact, Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf has said the CBO has not yet evaluated "the broad economic effects" of the bill.
Several conservative commentators have publically criticized conservative media figures and Republican politicians for deeming President Obama's reaction to unfolding events in Iran to be overly cautious, including The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan, who called such criticisms, "Aggressive Political Solipsism at work."
In her online column, The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan wrote that Sen. Barack Obama's DNC speech at Denver's Invesco Field "has every possibility of looking like a Nuremberg rally." Other conservative pundits have made references to Nazis when talking about Obama or discussing his speeches, including radio host Tom Sullivan, who once aired what he called a "side-by-side comparison" of an Adolf Hitler speech and an Obama speech.
In her column, Peggy Noonan asked of Barack Obama: "What does he think of America ... Who would have taught him to love it, and what did he learn was loveable, and what does he think about it all?" But Obama's latest book -- The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream -- is all about "[w]hat ... he think[s] of America."
While discussing Sen. Barack Obama, The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan said, "Remember that thing Mrs. Clinton said where she was asked, 'Do you think he's a Christian?' And she said one of those formulations like 'Oh, as far as I know, look into it.' " MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski replied, "Wink-wink, yeah." In fact, during an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, Clinton was not asked, "Do you think he's a Christian?" -- when asked, "You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?" she immediately responded, "Of course not." Moreover, she compared "ridiculous rumors" circulating about her to rumors about Obama, making clear that the Obama rumors are false.
Discussing "dynasticism" on NBC's Meet the Press, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan asserted that "this Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton" is a "sickness" that "is giving so many people pause." But when asked how they felt about members of the Bush and Clinton families holding the presidency for nearly 20 years, 50 percent of respondents in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll said it "doesn't really make much difference."